Passion is energy, it is enthusiasm and it is intuitiveness. Passion is life, it is ever constant. Those are some of the things I define as passion. What drives our desires to do what we love or to be who we want to be? Passion!
When ADDers have a passion for something there is no stopping us. It is not just about enjoying a particular hobby or pursuing a goal, but about becoming absorbed in our interests and striving to achieve what we desire. So much so, that we tend to have blinders on to the world around us, disregarding time, delaying responsibilities, and perhaps ignoring the people in our lives. We become engrossed in the activities that bring us joy and fulfillment. While many people are satisfied with traditional rewards of academic excellence, athletic success, or timely promotions, an adder may not find those things fulfilling or interesting. An ADDer may not be recognized for traditional achievement, and thus will pursue the activities for which we feel satisfaction. An ADDer will usually pursue that which interests them, we will try to learn everything we can about it and make every effort to become the best.
Our passion is like our heartbeat, we do not need to monitor it to know it is working, we do not need to hear it, see it or touch it, it‘s there driving us ever forward, ever seeking, ever desiring and ever hopeful. How else do we think we carry on day to day? It is the reason we always find a way...It is our Passion.
Creativity is found in all people, not just those of us with ADHD; however, it
does seem that people with ADHD have a way of thinking which makes what
we create stand out as unique and distinctive.
My creativity has a direct correlation to my ADHD. As a distracted, daydream
ing child I observed things most people tuned out. I imagined things while
others paid attention to teachings of logic and reason. I was the go to kid for
exploring and campfire stories. In my mind I traveled to distant galaxies and
saved planets under siege.
Some think Leonardo Da Vinci had ADHD. He was unique and very creative.
Maybe Da Vinci had ADHD, maybe he didn‘t, what matters is that we are all
unique and creative in our own ways. We are not less than anyone else.
Maybe we have been punished, criticized and ridiculed, by others and by our
selves, for so long, that we think everything we do is not good enough. It
shouldn‘t be that way and it doesn‘t have to be that way.
I believe that to be creative is to be human. I admit there was a time I hid
my creativity, and thought of it as worthless, but that‘s before I understood
that whatever I create has value to me! I don‘t have to be a Da Vinci, I just
want to enjoy being me…
I believe that people with ADHD are dynamic by nature. Dynamic people vi
brate with energy and exude a kind of poise, which is too often misinter
preted. Being dynamic we receive attention whether we want it or not. We
attract attention for good reasons, but usually, though, for not so good rea
sons. Unfortunately, many dynamic people seem to come across as arrogant
We can take advantage of the dynamic part of our nature, modify it to be
come a charming and endearing quality. For me, the diagnosis of ADHD was
an eye-opening experience, in part, because I learned why I did certain
things. Knowing isn‘t exactly a cure, but it did give me a direction in educating
myself about how and why I do things. That‘s a significant advantage, be
cause my future is open with new insights.
Knowing and understanding my ADHD has given me powerful tools to help
utilize my innate ADHD traits in my favor, resourcefully and dynamically turn
ing my once devastating ways into positive attributes.
Improvements didn‘t happen overnight, I continue to strive to improve, but
overall I feel that each and every small step I take forward gives me powerful
new advantages that I didn‘t realize I had before.
The world can be a pretty unforgivable place. If for any reason we can‘t meet
certain standards or expectations we find ourselves at a disadvantage, which
could have life long consequences. Yes, there are chances given, but if those
chances are not taken in a timely manner, things can become difficult and
Even so, we find ways to make it, just making it in most cases, but making it.
Even without a formal diagnosis of ADHD we find ways to survive and use cop
ing skills to either stay below the radar or to rise above it.
What if we take a moment to think about all the coping skills we have learned
and used, because we had to in order to get by? If we realize that we have the
capability within to somehow cope and survive, then doesn‘t it stand to reason
that we can also learn to do more than simply cope in order to be happy and
We can be pranksters, jokesters and tricksters, all in good fun, for heartfelt pleasure. We start out this way at a very young age. Sadly, as we grow, if we are punished enough, this playfulness can turn another way, a more wily way, in a manner of self protection. That‘s why it is so important to consider children‘s fun-loving behavior as generally age appropriate, and perhaps should be professionally evaluated instead of punished outright.
Even if an extra playful child does not have ADHD, severely punishing such a child repeatedly for their natural, lighthearted mischievousness is a sure way to inhibit their emotional growth and diminish that playfulness within them.
The world has enough problems. I wish for everyone to grow old with a good-natured playfulness. Can you remember the fun and joy you felt playing outside as a child, swinging at the playground, climbing trees, or just being you? Never lose that. It‘s what keeps us going, knowing we have something special inside which has the power to bring us and others, joyful smiles and laughter.
I tend to think my adventuresome spirit and playfulness, even if considered immature by some, is the best part of living!
I personally believe that most all entertainers are ADDers! We are natural born entertainers. It‘s not an art form for us; it‘s a way of life. Think about it with a positive twist like this:
If you take the fact that we spend most of our lives putting on an act in order to cope with
school, work, social situations and whatever other rules we must adhere to, then you can
clearly appreciate that we are already experienced entertainers. Life is a constant perform
ance for us. We intuitively use many of our inherent positive ADHD qualities to entertain our
way through life‘s situations.
When we forget to turn in a homework assignment on time, we may find a way to charm our
teachers into giving us another day or, to find another way to make it up by perhaps doing an
additional creative assignment that interests us. At work, there are times when we can ac
complish the seemingly impossible. We are capable of hyper focusing on interesting projects,
exceeding expectations. And we may draw others in with our passion to excel. While we are
usually a background player at work, performing the day to day tasks, when given a chance
to shine, doing something we love, we often do just that! In social settings we usually adapt
to the people and the setting. While we may be nervous about meeting new people and initi
ating conversations, we engage seemingly confident with style and humor at every turn as if
we were completely at ease.
An entertaining ADDer does not plan what to say or do in any given situation; there is no
script or preplanned direction. We improvise to the delight of our audience using our creativity and dynamic personalities. Being a grand entertainer is not the goal of an ADDer, but rather a way to meet others expectations on our own terms in our own way and in turn fulfilling our own needs too.
One of our most underrated, least talked about traits is our desire to
achieve, to do well and live a successful life. Too many think we live by an
excuse for our behavior and are unwilling to strive.
With treatment, consideration and understanding, and empathy, we can
achieve great things and be a significant benefit to ourselves, society and
the work force.
What‘s sometimes overlooked is that many with ADHD are extremely intelli
gent, extraordinarily talented and are hard workers who do extremely well
in what they focus on, overachieving when compared to peers. There, of
course, is a drawback with ADHD overachievers and that is they are often
hyper focused on doing so much extra, continuously improving in school,
sports or at work, which leaves little room for other things in their life. With
treatment and care there can be a healthy balance.
It seems to me there is too much focus on our negatives, but to every side
of most everything and anything, there is another side, another way of
thinking, considering and perceiving — I see this is as true with ADHD too.
If there is one thing I love about my ADHD mind above all others, it is my
vivid imagination. When I dream it is like watching a movie in my head,
with the intricate sounds, vibrant colors and ever so subtle movements.
The one hitch I have with reading is that I often get lost in my own day
dream, my own creation of how the story should go, that I lose my place in
the book. Still, sometimes stories in books do not go the way I want them
to, or end the way I want them to and that‘s okay, I am thankful I can em
ploy my own imagination and continue the story the way I want to.
Turning a drawback into a benefit is something I have learned to do. Day
dreaming while reading is also on my hate‘ list, but there is an upside to
The most pleasure I get from my imagination is just before falling asleep,
beginning a story in my head, just as I described above, like watching a
movie. When I get into it enough to hyper focus on it, I fall sound asleep.
It‘s my personal cure for insomnia!
Some without ADHD train to hyper focus via meditation, they train for years
and many never achieve the level of focus many ADDers are blessed with
The key is to learn how to use it and take advantage of it. Hyper focusing
while we should be doing something else isn‘t advantageous. However, hy
per focusing on something desired and specific can give us a considerable
As it has been, for so many others too, hyper focusing used to work against
me far more often than it worked for me. There are ways to improve it and
take it under one‘s control.
Having a dull blade won‘t be of any use when cutting something, so we
hone the edge, sharpen it. I honed my hyper focusing skill, sharpened my
blade as it were, by treating my ADHD with professional therapy and, I
joined a Tai Chi class. Tai Chi, Yoga and casual exercise are excellent ways
to improve our focus, hyper or otherwise.
Is positivity a trait of ADHD? Perhaps not officially. It is for me, finally! I have never met a successful person with ADHD who did not find positive aspects within their natural qualities. If we want to succeed and overcome we must, absolutely, positively, must, find the positives in even the most traumatic of events and the most frustrating circumstances.
I know it‘s not easy, I have been there. In my book One Boy‘s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD I tell my story of how I made it from the brink and how I found my way. It certainly does seem natural to curse ourselves and loathe our circumstances; however, that improves nothing and helps no one. It‘s easy to believe that if we get mad enough, depressed enough and curse ourselves enough, we will find the motivation to change. Think again. I learned the hard way that such thinking is actually very powerful negative reinforcement.
The thoughts we constantly think about ourselves have a power that can change our lives. As if the challenges of ADHD are not enough, as we develop we may compound the challenges we have by the way we think about them. After a while it‘s not just ADHD anymore, it can possibly develop into depression. It doesn‘t have to be that way. We do not have to become Olympic Champions, or Movie Stars, to find hope and happiness, it’s not about that – it‘s about living a fulfilling life without constantly defeating ourselves by negatively thinking about who we are, but rather by believing in ourselves, and in our abilities, in a more positive and healthy way.There is treatment available, there are support groups, and there are people who care. If you would like to meet people with ADHD striving to make things better, please visit the link to our ADDer World ADHD Social Network on the next page. If I can make it, anyone can!